Community voices unite to prevent Type 2 diabetes
The campaign is supported by Ghana Nurses Association, the Medical Association of Nigerians, Somali Nursing and Midwifery Group and the British Islamic Medical Association
Well known community voices including celebrity chef Levi Roots, singer, songwriter Alexandra Burke and media medic Dr Zoe Williams have joined forces to support an inaugural NHS diabetes Type 2 prevention campaign.
The campaign sets out to encourage Black people to learn more about their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through using the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool hosted by Diabetes UK. It also highlights that - if left untreated Type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure and loss of a limb, and the condition also increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.
... reducing the amount of salt and sugar in seasoning or incorporating more beans and pulses such as kidney beans or pigeon peas into your diet, the options are endless and tasty
People at moderate or high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes may be eligible to join their local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a joint initiative from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and Diabetes UK. The programme supports people to make positive changes to their diet, weight and the amount of physical activity they do – to significantly reduce the risk of developing this disease.
TV Doctor, GP and physical activity expert Dr Zoe Williams said: “Although the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is higher in people who are Black, it is not usually a given and in many cases can be prevented. Making changes to what types of food you eat and the amount of physical activity you do can significantly reduce your risk. The first step is to find out more about your risk and the simple changes you can make.”
Levi Root’s British-Jamaican celebrity chef, reggae musician and television personality, said: “People of African and Caribbean descent are more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and I think it’s time we start to talk about this. A healthy and balanced diet is key to helping to reduce the development of Type 2 diabetes but people often have the misconception that healthy means bland, which is so far from the truth. For example, it's healthier to barbecue or grill some foods, reducing the amount of salt and sugar in seasoning or incorporating more beans and pulses such as kidney beans or pigeon peas into your diet, the options are endless and tasty.”
Alexandra Burke, Celebrity Supporter of Diabetes UK, said: “Black people are more at risk of type 2 diabetes, but so few of us know about it and are able to act. Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for years, and for some, the diagnosis is only made when complications have already developed. I know first-hand the devastating effects that diabetes can have on a family, and if I can convince even one person to find out their risk of type 2 diabetes – it would be worth it.”
“So please if you do only one thing today, visit the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk tool and find out your risk. The tool is completely free and all you will need is access to the internet and a tape measure. Together we can help each other in the fight against diabetes."
The campaign is also supported by the Ghana Nurses Association, the Medical Association of Nigerians Across Great Britain, Somali Nursing & Midwifery Group and the British Islamic Medical Association.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has continued through the pandemic via video calls and is also available digitally using websites and apps.
To find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk
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